The Future has arrived, Toyota calls it Mirai

Yvonne Coleman Bach | 12/23/2014, 6:31 p.m.
The Future is here and Akio Toyoda said he has seen it. It is called “Mirai.” In Japanese, “Mirai” means ...
2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan 004 --Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV), Hydrogen

The Future is here and Akio Toyoda said he has seen it. It is called “Mirai.” In Japanese, “Mirai” means “future” and represents a turning point for the auto industry. Toyota’s President announced the new fuel cell vehicle in a video November 17, 2014. The groundbreaking vehicle was on display at the LA Auto Show.

In making the announcement, Toyoda said, “Today, we are at a turning point in automotive industry--A turning point where people will embrace a new environmentally-friendly car that is a pleasure to drive.” He continued, “a turning point where a four-door sedan can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, can be refueled in under five minutes and emit only water vapor.”

He said the vehicle is a “turning point that represents many years and countless hours of work by our team to create a car that redefines that industry.” He said everyone at Toyota believes the future will be safer, greener and easier for everyone.

Toyoda said the automotive company imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish the dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment.

Expanded Support for New Hydrogen Stations

Of course, the car of the future won’t become a reality without the hydrogen stations to support it. That’s why Toyota North America chief executive officer (CEO) Jim Lentz announced a new commitment to drive the development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in five northeastern U.S. states.

To support Mirai’s introduction to the region in 2016, Toyota is collaborating with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The states and locations have been strategically selected in the greater New York and Boston areas to provide the backbone of a hydrogen highway for the Northeast corridor. Specific details of the collaboration will be revealed in the coming months.

“Toyota’s vision of a hydrogen society is not just about building a great car, but ensuring accessible, reliable and convenient refueling for our customers,” said Jim Lentz. “I am happy to announce that this vision will expand beyond the borders of California and give customers the opportunity to join the fuel cell movement.”

This new announcement builds on Toyota’s previous support for hydrogen infrastructure development in California. In May 2014, Toyota announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across the state. The commitment augments funding provided by the California Energy Commission, and makes Toyota the only OEM to provide working capital for infrastructure development.